LibriVox recording of The Feast of St. Friend, a Christmas Book by Arnold Bennett. Read by Ruth Golding.
In this short book, Arnold Bennett shares his views on Christmas as the season of goodwill. As always, Bennett's writing includes some thought-provoking ideas liberally spiced with his wry sense of humour, and as always too, you can barely believe it was written so long ago. This was published exactly 100 years ago, in 1911. (Introduction by Ruth Golding)
For further information, including links to online text, reader information, RSS feeds, CD cover or other formats (if available), please go to the LibriVox catalog page for this recording.
For more free audio books or to become a volunteer reader, visit LibriVox.org.
April 6, 2012 Subject:
Excellent reading by Ruth Golding.
February 8, 2012 Subject:
The Feast of St. Friend
A thought provoking and beautifully well written essay. Bennett wrote during the emergence of modernism. This was an era during which, as he might have said, emotion battled intellect and faith fought with scepticism.
Ultimately the work is about achieving happiness by cultivating "personal goodwill." And although much time is spent on the benefits of observing Christmas, the piece is equally applicable to people of any religious tradition or none at all. I can't speak for any other group, but will say that Jews will see gemilus chasadim at the core of this essay.
Thank you Ruth for your beautiful reading and, equally important, for bring this poorly known work out of its obscurity.
TheBookworm (Manchester, UK)
November 28, 2011 Subject:
A Christmas book, superbly written and read
This is a well presented and deeply considered endorsement and justification of the Christmas festival. Non Sectarian and indeed only faintly, occasionally and tangentially theological, the Feast of St. Friend emphasizes the positive aspects of the season and how goodwill, gifts and giving of oneself can be accomplished and are worthy of the effort.
Apart from the considered message, the language itself is delicious and this is made all the better through a reading by one who clearly understands and expresses the meaning and significance of the material.
Much writing consists so entirely of oft-repeated phrases that an Internet search would fail to find it without title, author and date. The Feast of St. Friend, on the other hand, ranks with the best of prose in containing so many unique and delightfully penned expressive devices. Bennet's "Fierce exultant resolve" for example, is one of many of his constructions found nowhere else on the web.
The Feast of St. Friend is positively delightful find and will no doubt rival in real value anything I'm likely to find in my stocking. Thank you Ruth Golding.